October 20, 2009

City Council debate, part 1

Eldianne Bishop has the flu. That is awful for her.
Now the three remaining candidates are going at it, without fireworks.
First, they talked about Route 72.
Then downtown...
"I'd like to see a traditional downtown," Rimcoski said, with buildings people can walk between.
He said the city has "to get buildings back on the tax rolls," "but don't look for an anchor store because it's not going to happen."
Rimcoski said we have to go back to the 1940s and 1950s motif.
Block said it will wind up a mix of retail and residential, part of a pedestrian-friendly downtown.
"It will have the look of buildings on upper Main Street," Block said. It will include barber shops, restaurants and small stores.
"It will not be another Route 6, but a place we can take pride in," Block said.
Fuller said we have to find stores that can make it over the long run.
He said ESPN should put up "a small-scale ESPN Zone. ... It doesn't have to be a big one."
Fuller said officials also have to push for educational facilities there to help fill the gap for manufacturers.
"Let's sit down and see what's going to make this work," Fuller said.

Question about higher education.....
Fuller said he would like to see satellite schools at Depot Square or perhaps reuse of old industrial buildings.
He said we "should train the people in this town."
Students say they want to get out of town, but we can't let them get away. "Maybe we can keep some of these kids," with better training, Fuller said.
Block said Tunxis may need more space in Bristol and perhaps Briarwood College might be interested, too.
Rimcoski said Bristol has lots of skilled labor that isn't used to its fullest.
The sole Republican here said there ought to be more satellite classes in town -- whether in Depot Square or somewhere else -- where people can earn college credits toward a degree.

Question re marketing Bristol..
Block said the city's website needs an overhaul to help attract newcomers. "Ours leaves a lot to be desired," he said, and the city should invest more in it.
Fuller said the city needs to showcase its best face. It needs to "think out of the box" to promote itself.
"We want to be a leader, not a follower in this technology," he said, including pushing green power such as wind energy.
"We can lure in the people who are building these technologies," Fuller said.
Rimcoski said the city needs to market the city more on a state and national level, letting people know of the skilled help available here.
"We have to offer tax incentives" to companies to bring jobs," Rimcoski said. They're needed to get them in the door.
He said the city could pay firms that hire more people.
Rimcoski said the city has retailers, but it needs more manufacturers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I predicted on 10-6 at 9:23 on Council Debate thread that Bishop would not show up.

Another Barns/Mocabee/Schaffrick screw up!